Just finished a conference call with Seattle Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who said there's nothing on the horizon that looks as if it will happen immediately.
Days before the winter meetings open in Indianapolis on Monday, Zduriencik declined to say whether the Mariners have offers on the table for any free agent, but did say Seattle has talked to lots of other teams.
Is a deal imminent?
"I don't think we're close," Zduriencik said. "A lot of work will be done at the winter meetings, and some of it will take you beyond the meetings. When it comes together, I don't know."
Asked about the needs of the team, Zduriencik talked about the team offering first baseman Russell Branyan a one-year contract - and offering Adrian Beltre arbitration. That means, at the moment, the first and third base are up in the air, and Zduriencik said left field might be, as well.
And then, there's pitching.
"Evreyone wants to upgrade their pitching. We like ours, but you always look to shore up and upgrade," Zduriencik said.
While trying to improve the 25-man roster, Zduriencik said he's also trying to build a minor league system that will act as a 'feeder system' to the big league club.
"We're a ways away," he said. "How we feel about our minor league system may not be how other teams see it. In talking to a couple people who were in other organizations a year ago, you find that in some cases another team views a player higher than we did, in other cases lower."
Baseball America just released it's ranking of the 30 minor league systems in the game, and Seattle ranked 20th overall - and dead last in the American League West.
Bottom line: Zduriencik isn't about to play his hand in the media. You know the holes as well as he does, and on Monday when Beltre decides to accept or reject arbitration, the situation could become clearer.
The Mariners have money to spend, but not enough to sign two big-ticket free agents, guys like John Lackey or Jason Bay. It makes more sense to add several pieces to the puzzle now and try to improve as the season goes along.
One big bat isn't going to heal an offense that was dead last in scoring. And one big pitcher won't help that offense at all. What Zduriencik is likely to do is try hard to improve both - and the minor league system, as well.
That's a tall order for anyone.